May 24, 2010

Tools to unlock Photoshop’s new painting chops

The new painting features in Photoshop CS5 are incredibly powerful, but the app interface doesn’t provide much guidance as to what to use & when. Fortunately some painting experts have stepped up to the challenge.
Adobe’s Russell Brown has used Configurator to create a Painting Assistant panel that steps you through common tasks in converting a photograph into a painting. Here are a demo video and the panel installer.
Meanwhile painter John Derry is offering an excellent set of Artists’ Brushes, together with a texture library & six video tutorials, for $19.95. Maybe the idea of paying for content seems weird, but this is really well crafted, well vetted material that can make a big difference in what you’re able to accomplish with the tools. Check out the preview video for a sample of the tools & the techniques John shows.

Posted by John Nack at 9:05 AM on May 24, 2010


  • Mordy Golding — 10:30 AM on May 24, 2010

    Remember too, the ultimate tool you need to unlock the powerful features in Photoshop’s new brush tips (and Illustrator’s Bristle Brush as well) — a Wacom 6D Art Pen.

  • Scott Valentine — 12:07 PM on May 24, 2010

    Yep – I’m beating the hell out of my Intuos4, just so I can have an excuse to buy a new Art Pen.
    “See, honey? I’ve done all of this, but I could do MORE if only I had the right tools for the job…”
    Hasn’t worked yet, but hope springs eternal.
    btw – John’s brushes rock. Righteously.

  • John Stevenson — 6:18 PM on May 24, 2010

    can I (safely) assume that brushes made in earlier versions of Photoshop will transfer and work in CS5 with the same functionalities?
    [Yep. –J.]

  • Mark — 6:41 PM on May 24, 2010

    Ha, ha, ha! CS5 Master Collection costs TWENTY-SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS and “the app interface doesn’t provide much guidance as to what to use & when” so you have to spend $20 more to get some tips on how to use it.
    [No, you don’t. The panel & video from Russell are free. If you want great additional content, you can choose to pay for it. As for the app interface, would you suggest that we load it up with information on every possible technique, every combination of steps? How would that work? –J.]

  • Pissed Mac Developer — 7:10 PM on May 24, 2010

    I’ll bet your car cost even more, and doesn’t come with driving lessons.
    [Hah–well said. –J.]

  • Scott Valentine — 9:40 PM on May 24, 2010

    Mark – you could always do what a lot of us did: teach yourself. What you are paying for with training and tools is the time saved in figuring it out or doing the work on your own. Books, classes, presets, templates, actions, etc…
    Consider this: JD took his own time to learn the new feature; he brought his considerable experience to bear on getting the most from it; and he took time to build these brushes. $20 doesn’t sound like much to me.

  • Andrew Phang — 3:29 AM on May 25, 2010

    Is it just me or does the brush seem to lag in the video?

  • David — 4:47 PM on May 26, 2010

    Unfortunately, the new brush tools don’t play well with canvas rotation.

  • jeharris — 6:16 PM on May 26, 2010

    First I have heard of it. Thanks for passing it along (it is just the cursor that is not being rotated from what I can tell by the video).

  • David — 7:03 PM on May 26, 2010

    I held the stylus the same way for both strokes. The cursor is correct, not the direction of the brush fibers.
    Scrubby Zoom is also mush less useful with canvas view rotation.

    I attempted to soom in on the orange splotch both times, but it only works when the view is not rotated.

  • pfotenkater — 3:58 PM on November 02, 2010

    sorry, I can’t get the painting assistant. the download site dont work.

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